What's All This Then?

commentary on the passing parade

Agree? Disagree? Tell me

My Other Blog

Friday, August 18, 2006

Closing off the week on the subject that I find hard to get out of my mind - Muslim terrorists in the United Kingdom.

In the Chicago Tribune this morning, a report by foreign correspondent Tom Hundley, more or less emphasizes and repeats what I wrote here on July 21, 2005. It’s unusual for me to include the same link two days in a row, but the relevance is compelling.

England is in big trouble. It can get away with any foreign policy that may upset its Jewish population. Even though the Jews of England go back for centuries - their birth rate is low and they haven’t poured in from other countries in recent decades. There are only some 300,000 English Jews. They don’t make unreasonable demands of their government and the government doesn’t kowtow to them. If they disagree with the UK policy toward Israel, they do it through the legitimate means available to them in a free democratic society. They write to newspapers. They complain to their representatives. They run for office. Until recently, the head of the Conservative party and the "shadow" Prime Minister was Michael Howard. Had the Conservatives won the last election while he was still in that position, England would have had a Jewish Prime Minister.

The Muslim population is a different story. About 1,700,000 strong and growing, its British roots are recent - as are the problems they brought with them and the unfortunate way the British authorities have dealt with them up to now. I don’t need to repeat them. Just click on the link above.

It may be too late for the British Government to take back the country that has disappeared under a tsunami of change. I’m not alone in my feeling of despair. Here’s another British ex-patriot asking "What Has Happened to My Beloved Britain?" And I’m sure you can find similar feelings being expressed all over the Internet if you want to look.

"Engaging" with the Muslim community , in my opinion, is not the answer to the problems that community has brought to the country. I think that British Muslims should be treated the same way as any other citizens. Those who incite violence or break any other laws should be prosecuted. I don’t believe that it would be discriminatory to let the Muslim community know that the foreign policy of the United Kingdom cannot in any way be subservient to the religious beliefs of any of its citizens. Those citizens can express their disagreements in any legitimate way they like. Such is the nature of democracy. But when they resort to the violence of 7/7/05 and to the violent plans to cause mass murder over the Atlantic that has just been stopped in its tracks - and so called "ordinary" British subjects of the Muslim faith assert that it is the result of their country’s foreign policy viz a viz Muslim countries - it may be time to invite them to become citizens of and reside in those countries.

I know that sounds harsh and bigoted, but the problem has to be deal with on a practical level and has to begin with eliminating any argument about the fact that almost all acts of terrorism are committed by Muslims - Timothy McVeigh notwithstanding - and that Muslims traveling to, from or through any western country, particularly England, which has had an open door policy for too many years - need to be singled out for special attention. Columnist Kathleen Parker had it just right the other day in her "Do Profile - Don’t Tell" column. The only thing that I would add would be to have trained people at all airports and seaports to impose the same kind of test on all passengers as the Israelis do. Maybe to have Israelis train screeners in their methods. Right now, I would imagine that El Al is the world’s safest airline. For sure I would feel safer flying El Al than United or American.

The last couple of times I was in England, traveling through both Gatwick and Heathrow, the only questioning to which I was subjected was regarding my luggage. Had it been out of my sight? Had anyone asked me to carry anything for them? No questions about why I was traveling, where I was going, who I was traveling with etc. I was patted down at both airports, but had I wanted to smuggle something deadly aboard, I am sure I could have done so.

I would imagine the screening is a little more elaborate now, but I know I would feel a lot safer if I see young males wearing turbans and carrying Korans in sweaty hands, being put through a more rigorous screening process if they are in line for the same plane I’m catching. They don’t have to announce that they’ll be doing this sort of profiling. Just do it and don’t tell- as Kathleen Parker suggests.

My final suggestion for tacking the problem would be to tighten the restrictions on the flow of immigrants from Muslim countries. Thirty Eight years ago, British politician Enoch Powell created a stir when he suggested that Britain’s lax policy of allowing thousands of immigrants into the country would change the face of the nation. He was talking more about race than religion and he was accused of being a racist - but as many people are now saying, his predictions have come true.

It may be politically incorrect to advocate closing off the influx of Moslems to Britain’s tiny island, but I’m sure a majority of my former countrymen would agree that they’d rather be safe than politically correct.